A bunch of cunts, mostly in the Australian sense. Except that one guy.

Bush Poised to Set a Record

... for the longest vacation ever. (well, almost)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/02/AR2005080201703_pf.html

WACO, Tex., Aug. 2 -- President Bush is getting the kind of break most Americans can only dream of -- nearly five weeks away from the office, loaded with vacation time.

The president departed Tuesday for his longest stretch yet away from the White House, arriving at his Crawford ranch in the evening for a stretch of clearing brush, visiting with family and friends, and tending to some outside-the-Beltway politics. By historical standards, it is the longest presidential retreat in at least 36 years.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 16th, 2005
I actually respect the guy for the way he approaches work (and the way he's giving a second-term "suck on it!" to the electorate).

Let's face it - how many critical, business day decisions does a president really make? Is it really important, in the modern era, for him to be sitting in the White House to be effective, or rather just-as-effective? It's not like he heads down there and is incommunicado, and it really is a stretch calling it a vacation.

Those Texans sure like clearing bush, though.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
August 16th, 2005
Did you see... I think it was the first Barbara Walters interview, or maybe they got Matt Lauer in there, and Bush was describing his work day. It went something like this:

"First, I read the Threat Matrix. It's the first thing I do every day. It's sitting here on my desk when I get her, and it's an overview of all of the treats currently facing the nation. It's about a page long. Then I meet with Cheney and maybe Condi for about an hour. And then uh, and then. And then uh... then... um... then uh..... well, we do a lot of work."

I swear to god I think I actually subtracted a few "uhs" from what he actually said. Otherwise, it's more-or-less a word for word transcription as well as I remember it.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 16th, 2005
except the threat matris is HERE not HER and it's filled with THREATS not TREATS.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 16th, 2005
and it's a MATRIX not a MATRIS and... and.. und... end....
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 16th, 2005
Another quiality post there, Mark. :)
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 16th, 2005
thenk yoi
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 16th, 2005
I remember it and the uhhring went on for a good ten seconds followed by silence.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
August 16th, 2005
Maybe he should replace his 'uh'ing with "yadda-yadda", like that girl did on Seinfeld.

She did it to cover up saying things like "and then I had sex with him". Bush can use it to cover up saying things like "and then I had a nap and did nothing else the rest of the day".
Permalink AllanL5 
August 16th, 2005
...or then I spent the rest of the day practising how to eat pretzels and watch TV at the same time.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
August 16th, 2005
Why do I get the feeling that in college he hired nerds to do his homework?
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 16th, 2005
No change there then...
Permalink a cynic writes... 
August 16th, 2005
He got 'C's in college. I'm sure he could have hired a much better class of nerd, had he gone that route.
Permalink AllanL5 
August 16th, 2005
I think I found the interview transcripted, but they left out a lot of the "uh, uh, uh" that I remember.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,98006,00.html

I like how he gets in at 6:50, but Andy Card is there when he walks in at 8, and then at 8 a bunch of people come in and have a meeting. If you read between the lines, and every time you see an ellipsis and Hume asking a question, assume it was Bush stumbling for 30 full seconds and then Hume coming in to rescue him, you'll get an idea of what the interview was like.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 16th, 2005
Bush.. our president.. was "head cheerleader" at school.
http://sf.indymedia.org/uploads/2004/10/2-22.jpg
http://sf.indymedia.org/uploads/2004/10/school33.jpg

"Bush also played baseball, but mostly made his mark as a cheerleader for the teams."
http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2000/democracy/bush/stories/bush/

So, remember those Abu Gharaib human pyramids? Bush was painstakingly perfecting them in his youth before export. Now we know who was really behind them.
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
August 16th, 2005
In fact, that might explain why whenever he dons some cowboy outfit for photo ops, the Dallas Cowboys cheerleading squad coincidentally reports wardrobe theft...
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
August 16th, 2005
Back ontopic, there is some analysis that Bush's mental health is seriously suffering. This jibes with the observation that such a record-setting vacation is really bad for PR, and would only be undertaken if necessary.

Here's one editorial (which of course should be taken with a grain of salt).
http://www.capitolhillblue.com/artman/publish/printer_7218.shtml
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
August 16th, 2005
I'm not sure how much of a confirmation that book could be, but it would be intersting if he was on anti depressants.

I always thought of Bush as being more of a puppethead, whose main job was to make speeches, but I guess I could be wrong.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 16th, 2005
Yeah, there's a reason the Capitol Hill Blue's editorial is called "The Rant." ;) I take it about as seriously as any unproven rumor. So when I mentioned taking it with a grain of salt, I mean a big one.
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
August 16th, 2005
I'm amazed that there's any brush left to clear on that ranch.

It just affirms my opinion of Bushie as a mindless twit. What rich man would spend hours in the broiling Texas sun in August chopping down vegetation when he could pay the help to do it? But in reality, he probably goes outside for five minutes, poses with a hatchet in front of the press, then goes back inside and watches sports. Probably doesn't clear any brush at all, just wants us to think he's a "manly man".
Permalink Dana 
August 16th, 2005
After all, Reagan chopped brush once upon a time. Probably just trying to get all those Reaganites on his team.
Permalink AllanL5 
August 16th, 2005
Bush epitomizes the Enron/CEO culture of corporate america. He's just the figurehead for the government, mainly in charge of reading a TV teleprompter. His staff, especially Cheney, is responsible for forming and getting policy executed. Admittedly, the job of President of the US is more work than can be managed single-handedly by any president, but I think this administration probably has elevated the President-as-CEO role to a new level.

I doubt Bush has more than a tenuous grasp over the bills he signs, or the appointments he makes (Bolton, Roberts, etc.). He could stay in Crawford indefinitely and the administration would hardly be affected.
Permalink Edoc 
August 16th, 2005
Dana, have you ever done any of that kind of work? It can actually be really, really theraputic. He is also an avid runner, should he pay people to do that too?
Permalink Jeff Barton 
August 16th, 2005
By the way a grain of salt is 437.5 / 1 ounce which doesn't appear to be a lot until you work out how much salt there is in an ounce.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
August 16th, 2005
Hmm. Sports for the President, let's see:

Golf, running, weights, swimming, tennis, racket-ball, bowling (they still have the alley under the White House? Or was that replaced with the pool?), sailing.

Hunting and shooting are still popular, I hear.

I think I'm with Dana on this -- "chopping brush" ranks right up there with cutting the grass -- it makes the President 'folksy' -- which is not very believable with this President. Kind of like Dukakis showing how military he was by riding in a tank.

I suppose it's nice our President has to chop brush occasionally, just like the rest of us. Or is this more of his "Cowboy" image -- shoot from the hip, spit in the spittoon, chop brush, make a camp-fire, roll up in the bedroll and get a good nights sleep, tomorrow's gonna be a hot one. The valued Rugged Individualist, no job is beneath him, a man's gotta do what needs to be done.

I guess I don't have a problem with him trying to 'spin' his image. I just find the reality of a man who starts wars on flimsy evidence trying to appear as an "aw-shucks-maam" brush-cuttin' cowboy offensive.
Permalink AllanL5 
August 16th, 2005
The article says ...

  "I'm looking forward to getting down there and just kind of settling in," Bush told reporters from Texas newspapers during a roundtable interview at the White House on Monday. "I'll be doing a lot of work. On the other hand, I'll also be kind of making sure my Texas roots run deep."
Permalink Christopher Wells 
August 16th, 2005
Bike riding is a current obsession of his, spending half of a recent press interview planning on racing some journalist hack after having collided with some unfortunate Scottish policeman at the summit.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
August 16th, 2005
I'm not saying that Bush isn't a poser when it comes to rugged stuff. But clearing bush, cutting grass, pruning trees, digging trenches, and the like can actually be very enjoyable. It lets you isolate a very small part of the world, forget about everything else, and make a real, concrete difference there.

This may or may not be the case with Bush, but I think it's a really stupid and immature thing to make an issue of.
Permalink Jeff Barton 
August 16th, 2005
Brush does grow back each year. you have to keep on top of it.
Permalink Rich Rogers 
August 16th, 2005
Blackberry bushes grow back faster than that.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
August 16th, 2005
"except the threat matris is HERE not HER and it's filled with THREATS not TREATS."

I'm not so sure Bush's daily briefing isn't filled with treats. Like an advent calendar - "GW, if you read this far, there's a chocolate bar in your desk drawer"

I found a conspiracy page once that theorized that when he choked on the pretzel he actually had a mild stroke, and the infamous bulge under his jacket during the debates was a device to assist in maintenance.

Maybe he's really Dave?

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 16th, 2005
"grain of salt is 437.5 / 1 ounce"

Woah there Simon. What planet do you come from where a grain of salt is 27 lbs? I mean like... just how big are you? When you stand up, does the air get thin?
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 16th, 2005
Bush speeches are my favorite.

As we gather tonight, <pause>

hundreds of thousands of <pause>

American servicemen and <pause>

women are deployed across <pause>

the world in the war on <pause>

terror. <long pause>

By bringing hope to the <pause>

oppressed, and delivering <pause>

justice to the violent, they <pause>

are making America more secure. <pause>

(Applause.)

He pauses with the same amount of "sincerity" at the end of each line. It's humorous to the point where when he was making his speech on the USS Nebraska, the service men & women were applauding mid-sentance, even if he hadn't made any point because that's where it _felt_ like they should applaud based on how he was speaking.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 16th, 2005
You mean it should be an ounce / 437.5? Well if you like.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
August 16th, 2005
Maybe he's inspired by Capt. Kirk's speech delivery. A true leader of the future needs a certain halting diction.
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
August 16th, 2005
So Christopher Walken is sure to win in '08.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 16th, 2005
We're in the internet era and the US gov't is basically a self-propelled bueracracy these days. Why does a president need to be in the White House?

Clinton spent weeks at a time aboard Air Force One, what's the difference?

If I can do 90% of my work in a quiet corner of Starbucks with a laptop, why wouldn't a president, armed with a battalion of assistants do the same thing?

Not that Bush is anything like Teddy Roosevelt, but Teddy used to spend 3-4 months at Sagamore Hill, where he would refuse to speak to the press and handle only critical things.
Permalink Duff 
August 16th, 2005
> Why does a president need to be in the White House?

Part of the role of president is to the symbolic role of king. The whitehouse is where the throne is. Not texas.
Permalink son of parnas 
August 16th, 2005
So he can jog over to Congress, and make his wishes known? So he'll be close to all the Embassy's? So he'll be close to the Pentagon?

So he can have his morning meetings in the West Wing? (I used to love that show).

It doesn't really make sense to have a seat of power, and then leave it vacant. Even today, "virtual presence" does not beat the real thing.
Permalink AllanL5 
August 16th, 2005
"I guess I don't have a problem with him trying to 'spin' his image. I just find the reality of a man who starts wars on flimsy evidence trying to appear as an "aw-shucks-maam" brush-cuttin' cowboy offensive."

Europe seems to think the cowboy image fits a man who starts wars on flimsy evidence just right.
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 16th, 2005
Well, sure, but that's the Clint Eastwood "Cowboy who rides into town, whips out his pistols, kicks ass (whether that solves the problem or not), then rides out never to be seen again leaving the mess behind" image of a cowboy.

The "aw-shucks-maam" image is that of a down-home kind of cowboy, not afraid to get his hands dirty. You know, "one of us" kind of hard-worker, pulled himself up by his own bootstraps, gotta go feed that 40 head of cattle in the dead of winter kind of guy.

That image is far from the reality of the silver-spoon in mouth, New-Englander transported to Texas, failed board-room managing, Governor only through mis-information, I've only been in public life 12-years, beer drinking Yalie.

That's what I find annoying.
Permalink AllanL5 
August 16th, 2005
Funny, I thought John Wayne was both of those...
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 16th, 2005
At least John Wayne didn't screw up his lines.
Permalink Peter 
August 16th, 2005
> At least John Wayne didn't screw up his lines.

Yeah, but his wife seemed to have a nasty habit of running into his fist. Repeatedly.
Permalink Dan Rowan or Dick Martin - your choice 
August 16th, 2005
Five weeks of vacation is roughly how much a Frenchman takes.
Permalink Devil's Advocate 
August 16th, 2005
Hmm, it's pretty hard to find a list of Bush's getaways. Takes more than the couple minutes I'd want to invest.
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
August 16th, 2005
http://ask.yahoo.com/ask/20031001.html

I think the Washington Post has something against Bush:

http://billstclair.com/911timeline/2001/wpost080701.html

August 7, 2001

CRAWFORD, Tex., Aug. 6 -- By the time President Bush returns to Washington on Labor Day after the longest presidential vacation in 32 years, he will have spent all or part of 54 days since the inauguration at his parched but beloved ranch. That's almost a quarter of his presidency.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 16th, 2005
Why are you complaining that he is out of the office for a long time? IT IS A GOOD THING!
Permalink  
August 17th, 2005
Be gentle, the boss has set him some serious homework reading (others have not been so kind):

http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/culturevulture/archives/2005/08/17/all_the_presidents_books.html#more
Permalink trollop 
August 17th, 2005

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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